I listen to music, read, write poetry and prose, and make videocasts, usually in collaboration with visual and media artist Murray Toews. I am a writer with disabilities, or a disabled writer, or a neurodivergent crip writer. You choose the point of entry for your reading; there are no border guards. The welcome mat is out. Stomp your feet and leave your shoes on.
Love & Surgery (Radiant 2019) is my most recent collection of words about love and loss, including my below-the-left- knee amputation, my most visible disability. “Lousy cartilage gentics,” the surgeon’s note. Lucky for me no phantom leg pain. Turns out only my leg was alcoholic. Stopped drinking when my left leg below the knee was amputated in 2018. Disappearing cartilage makes for severe osteoarthritis.
Real pain is now an everyday companion, but usually held back enough with meds and meditation, to allow for making poems, stories, jokes, aphorisms all true enough, remembering narrators are unreliable and writers make shit up.
I started making recordings during covid, and then video-recordings with Murray Toews and others including Kevin Nickel, and Jim van Dusen. We just completed the letter F of my Abject Alphabet, joining A through E on my website and YouTube.
Afghanistan Confessions, poems in the voice of Canadian soldiers, was published in 2014, boy in 2012. Lucky Man (2005) was nominated for the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year award. Recently my writing has appeared in the international disability journal word gathering, the Journal of Mennonite Writing, and a long-standing favourite Grain magazine. A postcard poem, image by Murray Toews is an example of our collaboration.